SERMON SERIES | YEAR OF SABBATH-REST
30/31 JANUARY 2021 | PRAYER & PRAISE SERVICEs
Rev Gladwin Lee
Scripture Passage: Lamentations 3:40 (NIV)
WATCH | SERMON (VIDEO)
READ | SERMON NOTES
Summary | Christian reflection is not just about giving serious thought to our actions. It’s about abiding in God’s presence so we can see our true selves through His eyes, embrace Him, and experience sacred conversations with others.
Real Christian reflection – For most of us, when we go through difficult times, we tend to get stuck in misery and find it hard to fully praise God. Perhaps it is because we are paying attention to the wrong things. The secular definition of reflection is to give serious and careful thought. Christian reflection, however, is more than thinking deeply. It is abiding and being in God’s presence as we review the events around us. It’s seeing as God sees, and listening to whatever God speaks.
Why is being in God’s presence so essential? The three reasons why being in God’s presence is so essential for reflection, form the acronym S.E.E.
First, we get to – See our true selves as how God sees us, i.e. see our masks, the defects in our hearts, and our core beliefs.
Secondly, it leads us to – Embrace God. We are not just sinners but deeply loved ones; hence, self examination is not self condemnation. God is on our side so we can let down our guard to let Him build us up. Embracing God is about embracing Christlikeness, God’s friendship, and a holy rhythm to match our faith to our actions. This rhythm may take a while to adjust to, and God will help us to find our pace to walk with Him.
Finally, being in God’s presence enables us to – Experience sacred conversations with fellow brothers- and sisters-in-Christ and with the community - to bless and receive blessing, conveying encouragement and wisdom to one another. Reflection is something we should not do alone.
Starting right – A good way to begin our reflection time is to firstly find a place and position most comfortable for us, relax our bodies and breathe deeply so we can release any tension and focus on God.
Our prayer – Abba father we thank You for your steadfast love. We ask that You guide our time of reflection so that we may see You and hear Your voice. Show us who we are and the masks we wear. Show us who You are as well, and the behaviours You want us to embrace today.
(Sermon Notes by Desley Khew)
PONDER | REFLECTION QUESTIONS
1. What's the difference between a secular understanding of reflections and Christian reflections?
2. Recall the 3 reasons why being in God's presence is essential for Christian reflection. If you are comfortable, share about a time when your reflection led to you to (i) see your true self, (ii) embrace God, or (iii) experience sacred conversations.
3. Reflection on personal life
3.1 Spend some time reflecting on your personal life namely:
- How are you doing in your relationship with God?
- How are you doing in your family relationships?
- Are there any areas that God wants you to change or work on in terms of the above two questions?What is God speaking to you about your future in terms of your work as well as your involvement in his kingdom work?
3.2 Share your responses with the group.